Don’t be the kite on a string

Do you get caught up in what your kitchen looks like TODAY?

If it’s clean, you feel AMAZING.

The angels are singing and you want to take a picture and show it to your decluttering buddies!

But if it’s messy then OMG.

You want to beat yourself up and tell yourself how much this decluttering thing ISN’T working.

Never mind that you were running around all weekend or you had 10 kids over on Friday night and now there’s a little clean up to do.

Never mind that your partner was unwell and needed extra care.

You’re still beating yourself up.

If you ride the giant waves of ups and downs, you’re living in a short-term world.

You let yourself fly high when life is good…
… but the minute something doesn’t work, you are in the depths of despair.

Don’t make this mistake.

(Ask me how I know – I am someone who tends to dramatize the short term more than I want).

Take the long term view.

Are you further ahead this month than you were last month?

How about this year vs. last year? How about 5 years ago?

If the answer is yes, than keep going.

If the answer is no, than make adjustments.

When you’re focused on long-term, you enjoy the everyday wins but they don’t consume you.

And then neither will the everyday losses consume you.

You just keep doing your job.

Enjoy the present moment OF COURSE!

But don’t let your present circumstances jerk you around like a kite on a string.

You’re not the kite. You’re the one holding the string.

You’ll never be sorry for taking the long-term view.

You’re welcome.

– Sarah


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30 thoughts on “Don’t be the kite on a string”

  1. OMG … such great advice. The progress I made after latest challenge is miles ahead of any reference point – last week, last year – but I see progress built over time, baby steps of previous efforts. Lessons finally geling – gel -ing? So greatful for all the help.

  2. Excellent advice, thank you. Becoming less personally attached to things as well as to the ups and downs of the process, and taking the long view, will help keep a saner perspective.

  3. How true. In the beginning, I would get upset if I didn’t get to my nightly kitchen zero. Life is hard and filled with unexpected things that just happen.
    Now I just take a moment to make a big sigh and say today is a new day and I move on. No wasting time anymore on the what if’s. I can’t change yesterday but I can make today better.

    Thanks for all your help.

  4. I needed to hear that today, too much going on the last few days! I really appreciated the ‘ zoom in’ advice. I have for quite a while done a bit here and a bit there and thought nothing was getting completed. By zooming in can now see that was not true – a great feeling.

  5. So very true! The last 28 day reboot I joined has made all the difference in establishing some routines that have been game changers for me. Learning to let go of things is getting easier and feels SO freeing!

  6. Great advice; however, I happen to LOVE kites. I love watching them fill the sky with grace, flow, and magical shapes and colors. So, I am choosing to alter the advice one small bit: I am the calm, beautiful, colorful, cheery kite. And, I am in control of the string, too!

  7. This is very similar to what I used to say to my weight loss community. If something wasn’t the way they wanted, I would always ask, did you have fun. If so, then yea, life happens, if not, then what can we change. Generally the small changes make the biggest impact. Giving me the positive thoughts allows me to reframe how I see the “mess” and take control. I am looking forward to this month, as strange as that sounds. The entire process has always caused me great anxiety and I am wanting to fix that.

  8. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! It is wonderful to know someone understands. I feel so lonely since the pandemic and husband unable to go out due to ill health.
    I am doing well and will continue to do so. Your message was well timed. Thank you!

  9. Yes, I agree with what you say about the short and long term thoughts. Even though I don’t do it every day, I am more happy with myself than a year ago, and Thank you so much.

  10. I was going to say you “nailed” or “anchored” it., but more appropriately for a kite you “secured” it! Yes, the long run. A kite dips & soars. Keep going!!!

  11. Great advice! Love all of the support that you and your team provide in your programs. I am learning so many great tips on how to physically and emotionally get rid of “stuff” that is just taking up space!

  12. Thank you for that great advice and inspiration! Just what I needed to hear. I will be saving that post as a reminder when I get discouraged!

  13. Great reminder about looking at the long term picture! Am I making progress? Am I going in the right direction? Is it better than yesterday or last month? Good thoughts!

  14. Thank you so much for the great advice! I’ve been trying to string together lots of little wins without getting depressed by the huge amount of work left to do.

    • I totally hear you on that. stringing together small wins. consistency is key is what i am hearing too. also to enjoy the journey, the process, the community, the little mantras and habits that “become” us. I too have a LOT of work to do but if I don’t do a little each day then when will it get done. i can’t quit my job to do it full time, but i can move the ball down the field…Good luck.

  15. This is great advice. I have just finished cleaning my fridge…one shelf a day. I had surgery in January and have not fully recovered my strength, so hearing someone say it is ok to take a week to do what I would like to do in one day is very encouraging and allows me to focus on what I have accomplished rather than how much I still have to do.

  16. Thank you for the words of encouragement. It is so easy to despair when things don’t look the way you would like. With the new tools that we have learned, although it might not be easy, it is definitely doable.

  17. Hi Sarah!

    I love the profound wisdom of your metaphor “You’re not the kite. You’re the one holding the string.”

    Now adding it in Spanish & English to our bilingual family white board in the kitchen here in Spain. Gracias y saludos! Dan

  18. I agree!
    I was feeling so stressed but your words really made me sit up and look at exactly where am I now to where I was 11 months ago. I have come a long way and today excited because I am having furniture moved and got rid of to clear an old office to be made into a bedroom. It is a big step on this journey. Thank you for your inspiration and insights, they really help.

  19. Great inspiration. You have to keep on keeping on. Don’t let setbacks take you down a dark hole. I love how upfront and honest you are.


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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